Time to Play Catch Up!

Lately, I have been playing catch up on my hobbies — mostly playing video games, reading, and watching my favorite TV shows. It’s been a crazy year for me so far, with issues like lack of internet, commitments every weekend, and a little bit of sad stuff happening that made me stop pursuing some of my own personal hobbies. Blogging is a big one there. I have no real excuse, but I am sorry for my long absence from Robo♥beat! I’m happy to be back (with internet!) and to have the opportunity to catch up with everybody here on all the things we’ve been doing the past couple of months. =)

What I’ve Been Playing

Black Flag's combat at sea is easy and fun.
Black Flag’s combat at sea is a refreshing feature for Assassin’s Creed.

Video games, I have missed you! The past few weeks, I have dedicated most of my gaming time to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. I expected it to be fun, because I already enjoy the franchise… but it has exceeded my expectations so far. It’s popcorn gaming at its best: gorgeous scenery, a cool character, and a combat system that asks for just a tiny bit of strategy without ever being punishing. Plus, it’s got pirates.

I’m also slowly but surely playing through some old favorites, like the entire Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, as well as Skyrim. And last weekend, I picked up Borderlands 2 for my Vita, because frankly I don’t have many Vita games and felt that was the perfect one to try. I decided to play as Axton this time around, and I’m actually liking his combat more than I liked Zer0’s! Although I had major issues with the rear touch pad on Vita — like accidentally hitting it with my fingers and throwing grenades at inopportune moments — an update has just been released that should improve that. Borderlands-2-PS-Vita This morning, I also played the latest chapter of The Wolf Among Us by Telltale Games. It is a very solid installment, with less agency than usual but a lot of plot progression. I also loved that the achievement titles for this one told the story of a wolf who tried to fix his old bad ways, which sums up the story of the protagonist Bigby Wolf, however you play him. I intended to make him a hardass, but in this episode, I couldn’t help but play him as a softie. Having learned so much about these characters, I wanted to go easy on everybody — even Mr. Toad, to whom Bigby always gave a hard time in past episodes.

What I’ve Been Watching

game-of-thrones-s4e3-sansa
Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones and Continuum have been my go-to shows the past two months. I haven’t had time to watch much else, but with Game of Thrones’ best season (seriously, the best) over as of last weekend, it’s time for me to find a new science fiction or fantasy show to fill the void! As for Continuum, my love of the show continues, but it’s not quite as strong as it was in previous seasons. It has taken some rather dramatic and convoluted turns, which was what I worried about when I started watching the show. I mean, it’s hard not to get convoluted when you’re talking about time travel, but Continuum always surprised me with its refreshing clarity. However, this season the show has introduced a secret society, multiple timelines, and a new time traveler. It’s not that all of that is bad… it’s just a lot to take in. And perhaps my biggest issue is that one of the show’s main characters, Alec — easily the most grounded in the bunch — has made questionable decisions and really ruined his friendship with the protagonist Kiera. It’s interesting character development for him, but I really hope we see more of the “good” Alec soon. I miss that guy.

con309d90079_medium
Continuum

On the plus side, Continuum has lately had some great flashback sequences (and even episodes) that provide insight into Kiera’s history as well as one of the antagonist’s, Sonya Valentine. Those are my favorite episodes.

What I’ve Been Reading

Grimspace
Grimspace

My reading habit has been very hot and cold lately — but hot for the past couple of weeks. I’m finishing up the Sirantha Jax Grimspace series by Ann Aguirre, which I absolutely love. It gets better as the series goes on; the prose softens into a comfortable fit for the brash person Jax is, the worldbuilding deepens, and one of the alien characters (Velith) becomes so well-developed, I believe he feels more real than any of the human characters in the books. If you like a light science fiction read that’s very character-driven, I highly recommend the series. I’ve also been reading a great pick from fellow blogger C. T. Murphy. It’s called The Stars My Destination, written by Alfred Bester, and already talked about here on Robo♥beat in C. T. Murphy’s guest post earlier this year. I won’t give away my thoughts yet, because I’ll be reviewing it here soon! =) — Ashley

10 thoughts on “Time to Play Catch Up!”

  1. So glad you’re back, I love your work and missed seeing in on a regular basis! Looks like you are playing some awesome games, watching some awesome TV shows and reading some awesome stuff as well.

    Question: I’ve been considering getting into Continuum soon, since I’m close to being caught up on my other shows and will need something to watch. You’ve talked about it a lot and you seem to really like it, so this may sound silly, but would you recommend it for someone like me? I really liked Fringe and other shows of the like so I think I’ll enjoy it, but I can never tell haha.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I do love Continuum. It’s a little different style than Fringe — it reminds me more of Almost Human, I guess. I would give the first episode a try if you have time! It’s a pretty good representation of the show’s tone, and you’ll know if you like the main character or not. Some shows, you have to watch a few episodes to get into them, you know? But I don’t think Continuum is like that — you’ll probably know right away whether it’s your style or not!

      Also, let me know if you have any similar shows to recommend! I’m in the same situation as you — I need a new show now that mine are ending for the season. =)

      1. Thank you! I’ll be sure to give it a shot soon. I’ve been hooked on Castle and Arrow lately to be honest, if you haven’t seen those you should give them a watch :D

  2. “Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, as well as Skyrim…” — Well, you just named all the best one-player RPG’s.

  3. Sorry to hear that you’ve been having some personal problems – I know how that can suck up your time and desire to blog, but I’m glad things seem to be better now and that you’re back in the blogsphere! Again, it was also awesome seeing you at E3, however briefly! I’m looking forward to hanging out again in the near future. Do let me know if you plan to come Europe-side too! :D

    I still have to play The Wolf Among Us, which I’ve heard nothing but glowing statements about and with many saying it’s even better than The Walking Dead, which means I obviously HAVE to play it. I finally got around to trying out Continuum though, after you recommended it to me at GDC. In all honesty I’m not sure whether I like it yet, but I’m also only 2 or 3 episodes in so I haven’t actually gotten a real feel for it yet. Like all sci-fi shows, it’s a bit on the cheesy side while it’s still setting up the plot and introducing to characters, but I’m expecting that will fade a bit once it really gets into the swing of things. By the way, I don’t know if I mentioned to this to you when we met up, but I’d recommend you try out Warehouse 13 if you’ve never seen it. It seems like a show you’d enjoy! :)

    1. Thanks! I will definitely let you know if I ever end up in Europe… I hope to! Sorry I was stuck in that line, I wish I had just left and hung out with you. :( But I’m sure we will have other times to catch up!

      Oh yeah, Continuum can be cheesy. I think Doctor Who really increased my tolerance for all things cheesy, so I don’t mind that in shows anymore. Also, with Continuum, the main character is very serious and sometimes unlikable. I love her, but my sister can’t really get past that, for instance.

      Hmm, I will check out Warehouse 13! I definitely need more show recommendations, so thanks! =)

  4. I really need to give Black Flag another shot, I didn’t play much of it. I was pretty let down by AC3 and just a little burnt out on the series after five entries I think, so never spent much time with Black Flag. The pirate bits were my favorite part of 3 though, so I should enjoy it. I think. Hopefully.

    As for Continuum, I really like that they’ve been delving into more time travel stuff. It has made things more convoluted, but I felt the first two seasons didn’t really deal a whole lot with the consequences of them traveling back in time (more just alluding to them). It has been kind of messy with the multiple timelines though for sure, but I do like thinking about that stuff and trying to work it out in my head. So it is kind of a plus and a minus for this season I guess. I do really miss the Kiera/Alec friendship as well. That full flashback episode was really rad too.

    Nice seeing you around the internet again!

    1. Yeah, I was really skeptical about Black Flag because I have a problem with series that release new games so back-to-back. I felt like Black Flag would be a rushed product. But I can see now that it’s actually one of the most fun installments in the series! It’s making me go on a pirate kick. I started watching Black Sails recently too.

      Yeah, I guess the time travel complexity is interesting in Continuum. I actually liked the two timelines (etc.) at first… but then it made me stop relating to the characters as much? It feels like the show is a little colder than in past seasons because of all the fallings out between everyone. But that’s just my preference, I think… I really liked the solid relationships in the show before.

      But yes, I’m glad to hear you also like the flashback episode! I’ve always loved the flashback scenes in Continuum, and that particular episode had some amazing character development!

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